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Ohio Legalizes Leisure Marijuana, However Employers’ Means to Implement Office Drug Insurance policies Stays Intact (US)


As of November 7, 2023, Ohio grew to become the twenty fourth state to legalize grownup leisure use of marijuana. Ohio voters handed Subject 2, also referred to as An Act to Management and Regulate Grownup Use of Hashish (the “Act”), by a 57% to 43% margin, and the Act is ready to take impact on December 7, 2023. The November 7 citizen-initiated poll measure legalizes the possession, house cultivation and retail sale of hashish for adults 21 and older.

Regardless of this massive growth below Ohio regulation, employers’ authorized obligations and restrictions surrounding marijuana are comparatively unchanged at the moment. In step with Ohio’s present Medical Marijuana Management Program, the Act helps employers’ efforts to take care of a drug-free office, together with insurance policies prohibiting use of marijuana. Particularly, Ohio employers could proceed to ascertain and implement a drug testing coverage, drug-free office coverage and/or a zero-tolerance drug coverage. Additional, the Act supplies the next protections for employers:

  • Employers wouldn’t have to allow or accommodate an worker’s use, possession or distribution of marijuana; and
  • Employers could discharge, self-discipline, refuse to rent or in any other case take an opposed employment motion in opposition to a person due to that particular person’s use, possession or distribution of marijuana.

Importantly, an worker who’s discharged from employment due to their use of marijuana in violation of an employer’s program or coverage is taken into account to have been discharged for “simply trigger” below Ohio’s unemployment compensation regulation. The Act doesn’t allow an worker to carry a authorized motion in opposition to an employer for discharging, disciplining, discriminating, retaliating, refusing to rent or in any other case taking an opposed employment motion in opposition to the worker associated to the person’s use of marijuana. Nor does the Act purport to intrude with present federal restrictions on drug use and employment, together with for instance U.S. Division of Transportation rules.

The important thing takeaway right here is that though Ohio, like different states earlier than it, has legalized the non-public use of marijuana for non-medical, leisure functions, the regulation doesn’t require that employers change the appliance or enforcement of any present drug insurance policies, nor does it forestall employers from adopting new drug insurance policies. 

The Act is ready to take impact 30 days following the election – on December 7, 2023. Nevertheless, as a citizen-initiated statute, the regulation is just not set in stone. The Ohio legislature maintains the best to change and refine the regulation. We are going to present employer updates as they develop.

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